6 Verses to Make Us Brave

Well girls I have to say I should know that when you write about something, you get attacked there. Boy, did it happen this week! The beginning of the week started out amazing you all were so loving with your comments and shares, I was reassured that I was walking in my calling.  The bug of discouragement showed up and bit so hard Friday though. Friday I was beaten and run over by the mac truck of life.  I was consumed by the social agenda that is attacking America.

 

See, I thought in my little mid-western town we were safe for awhile, unfortunately that was not the case. My school district was faced with what to do when a boy walks into the girls room looking like a boy. In the social uproar, that has been my fear. That boys and men would try to take advantage, and it happened. As you can imagine, the mama bear inside let anger and fear consume me. I do not think this is a subject to ignore, but it can’t be allowed to dictate life and it dictated my Friday.

 

Saturday came and fear lingered. Fear for my kids and myself. Fear for what the future holds. Fear. Fear. Fear. Anxiousness joined in because we are in the midst of car shopping….uh, can you say ughhhh! I think that is a true test for marriage! We haven’t car shopped in over a decade. This is long over due but scary to commit to a payment and to have to decide on which vehicle to have for another decade. I am fairly certain that premarital counseling should include car shopping!

 

As Saturday came to close my sweet daughter began to help my heart be realigned. She asked to color together in my bed, after coloring for a bit she said “Mom, lets read the bible.” We opened to Luke and she read chapter nine to me aloud.

 

We talked about the feeding of the 5000 and what the disciples must have thought.  I have to tell you child faith is awesome. I asked her if she was a disciple and Jesus said he could feed near to 10,000 people (guessing on women and children) with 5 loaves and 2 fish would she think that sounded crazy? She said nope, Jesus could do it. We also discussed how Jesus provided a leftover basket for each disciple. I said to her I think Jesus wanted to show them when they have a need he not only can provide but he can provide enough so that everyone can have LEFTOVERS!!

 

That applies to us, if we have a need He will not only supply for the need but give over and above.

 

For real, can God get anymore personal!? I needed that reminder in that moment desperately!

 

God is so gracious and loving to us. It is so easy to get consumed and overwhelmed in this world. It’s not an if, only a when. What we do next determines our day though. Do we live in fear or allow ourselves to be realigned? Sometimes we are so worn out that someone else has to take us by the hand and help us find Him again.

 

If you find yourself drowning in fear, take my hand and listen to the Father.

6 Verses to Make Us Brave | Me, Coffee & Jesus

He says:

“Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” Isaiah 35:4
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
Girls that’s just the SHORT list! Those are His promises to us! His perfect love will drive out our fear. Doesn’t that just make your heart soar? It does mine.
I don’t know why, even after walking with the Lord for so long I don’t immediately turn to Him with my fears. I hope I’m not alone, please someone say me too!
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Lessons From My Children

 

Blog friends, this post might not be your favorite. I understand, and that’s ok! This is a post that has been swirling around for a long time and it needed to be written so one day my kids have my thoughts from when they were 12 and 8. I hate that it took me this long to write it! I want to tell each one of you just how much I appreciate the love you’ve given me since coming back! It amazes me that I was missed (ridiculous insecurity revealing itself there, I guess) and that you noticed my absence. You melt my heart and blow my mind!!

 

To my sweet and crazy kids,

Brandon my first born, who taught me to be a mom, I’m so grateful that you are an easy-going, roll-with-it-kind of kid! I certainly didn’t have all the instruction manuals when I started and I still don’t. You taught me to be less selfish. When you knocked my tiny little bottle of expensive perfume off the shelf in the bathroom and I was hit with a flash of anger at first, until I realized that no matter the cost of a thing it was not as valuable as you. I’m sorry for being a mom who has to learn her lessons the hard way, for being slow to realize the value of you over stuff.

A mom who has to learn lessons the hard way | Me, Coffee & Jesus

You’ve taught me boys aren’t just rough and tumble but boys can treasure their moms. When you were a toddler I didn’t always think I was important to you, See, you ALWAYS wanted to be off doing boy stuff with Dad or Grandpa. Building, pushing dirt, riding a tractor, none of those required Mom. Now I know that it was a phase and I don’t have to dig in the dirt to be important to you. You show my importance to you by stopping what you are doing to give me a hug, by teasing me endlessly about being taller than me, and by wanting to go to the movies or ice cream with me. I love your kindness and patience with your nephews, it gives me a tiny glimpse of you being a man grown up with children of your own. You make me proud to be a mom.

 

Rachel, my sweet and sassy girl. My mini-me, as you are often called. You have taught me lessons on listening and obeying. I won’t soon forget the time when you kept asking why do I have to, when I had told you to do something. I replied in a frustrated tone I don’t have to explain why, I’m your Mom and you just need to listen. In that moment I got it. I got the fact that, that is how God views us. We ask over and over why. When really we don’t need to know, we only need to listen and do as we’ve been told.

 

Lately you have been argumentative, always needing to be right, even though there is no more defense to your argument. While I find myself Crazy about this, like pull-my-hair-out-scream-at-the-rafters-kind-of-crazy, because it is meaningless things you stand your ground on. Then it hits me (uhh, today as I thought about starting this post a few hours ago) one day it won’t be meaningless, what you ate when you were a one year old topics, but why you love Jesus topics. Right now is practice for moments that will matter eternally. In the meantime while you practice your voice I will practice patience.

 

You both make this house a family. You make me a Mom and dad and Dad. You are such a good mix of the two of us, Brandon you got Dad’s sense of humor and quietness and my compassion for others.  Rach you got my gullibility (sorry about that) and creativity and Dad’s orneriness. You both are kind, willing to work hard (usually, you’re kids not saints!), and have a deep love of video games, all thanks to your dad (that one I just don’t think I can ever jump on board with, I’m terrible at them-laughably so!)

We know who's we are and we always trust Him even when it's hard | Me, Coffee & Jesus

I’m so thankful that I get to be your mom, it is a joy to watch you grow up. I hope that you forgive me for my imperfections, that I’m not the cause for any therapy needs. I pray that you will grow up to love the Lord and find favor with Him and His people. I pray that you will learn that loving people is always better than loving stuff. I hope that you both always remember you are Lawsons and we know Who’s we are and we always trust Him, even when it is hard. I thank you both for the lessons you’ve taught me, you make me a better person.

 

Love, Mom

 

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No Hypothetical Jesus Girl Here

I’m a hypothetical kind of girl.

You know, hypothetically I want to exercise.

Hypothetically I want to eat veggies and no sugar.

Hypothetically I want to be an early riser, read my bible before anyone else in the house is awake, and have a hot breakfast on the table (that has fresh flowers artfully displayed on it) upon the waking of hubby and kids.

Do I do any of these amazing things on a regular basis….NO!

By not doing these amazing things am I less of a woman, wife, or mom….NO!

You know the ONE thing I refuse to be a hypothetical girl on though? Jesus. I want to chase Jesus and what He has for me as hard as I can. Are you with me? No, almost Jesus girls here, ok? 

 

If we all say we want to be real and authentic Jesus girls, what does that look like?

Some of us would maybe say it looks like filling our bookcases with lots of books about Jesus. Making the only station on Pandora we listen to a Christian one. Others would say being in church every time the doors are open. Yet others would say it just looks like being a good person. What does Jesus say it looks like?

 

He says in Mark 8:34 “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.”

 

Hmmm, no mention of a full bookcase or which Pandora station to listen to. Although it does say turn from your selfish ways. We are all me focused, right? We all are focused on our marriage, our kids, our dreams, our homes, our schedules….should I go on…no, ok, thank you! Now I’m not saying you stop feeding your kids or sacrifice your dream, but I am saying maybe look and see if there is another kid you can feed or another mom you can help encourage in her dream. Jesus asks us to not be so focused on our agenda, in order for us to see His agenda. Yikes, Jesus just got pretty close to my toes there!

Jesus's agenda not our own | Me, Coffee and Jesus

When the rich man in Matthew 19 asked what good must I do to have eternal life, Jesus responded by saying to keep the commandments, but went on to say in verse 21, “if you want to be perfect go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

 

Well, no mention of church attendance here or of being a good person. Just if you want to be perfect then give up what you love the MOST and follow me. What do we love? What do we chase? Some of us chase careers, I did for a long time. At the sacrifice of my family and my relationship with Jesus. Then one day, Jesus, who had blessed me with my dream small business, said if you want more of me lay it down. But Lord I’ve worked so hard, I thought. This was my chance to be my own boss, to no longer have to work in an environment that seemed to create a bad attitude within my heart. I wanted more of Jesus, and what He desired for me to have, that meant sacrificing my desire to His.

 

Sometimes we can chase an idea. The idea of being a good person, a good “christian” can look like attending bible studies but never really reading God’s word. It can look like getting involved with as many volunteer opportunities as possible. Yet, when we allow the good to become bigger than the relationship, we lose the good of the action.  Because it isn’t bad to participate in bible studies or volunteerism but when we use that to replace truly following Jesus we’ve missed the point.

 

The teacher of religious law asked what the most important commandment was, Jesus replied “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

 

Jesus here shows us loving the Lord must be the first filter of life. Then love others. The real kicker is he says there in the middle the second is EQUALLY as important. That’s the hard part for me. Because some days (uhhh, most days) it’s really easy to love God, but is so hard to love others. Loving others means putting them ahead of what we want. Loving others means being patient in the endless line of the grocery. It means slipping money into a struggling friend’s car without taking credit. It means putting down our phones so we can really hear our daughters story (maybe for the 10th time just today). Love, not the mushy gushy kind, but real love takes hard work and sacrifice. The closer we remain to Jesus, the easier it is to love others well. Paul says it best in 1st Corinthians 13:1-2 “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. ….if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love other, I would be nothing.” Nothing without love. 

closer we remain the better we love | Me, Coffee & Jesus

Well I want to be something, I hope you do too. Although I think it sounds impossible to love as Jesus did. I find it reassuring that the disciples did too. They were astounded in Mark 10:26 when they asked “Then who in the world can be saved?” In verse 27 Jesus responded with the words that can be the balm to our souls, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.” Yep, it’s true we can’t love well, we can only love well by asking each day for the Lord to align our hearts to His. To remove our selfish focus and replace it with His endless love. 

 

So girls, do the impossible this week, love others so well that it could only be the love of God. Look for how God wants you to love better. Maybe it’s huge, like laying aside a dream or maybe it’s small like putting down your phone. Maybe it means doing what He asked of you, even if it means being willing to risk your heart on those who have hurt you or disappointed you in the past.  Love those that are really hard to love. Whoever you love well this week, make them say wow, how do they do that, because we want to be known by our love.

 

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Jumping On, Finding Focus

Do you remember when you were a kid and raced to the merry-go-round at recess? That was my favorite recess past time. Running as fast as my little legs would go, dirt kicking up behind me, sweaty hands griping the rails and then…….

J U M P!

Jumping onto the platform to ride surfer style. As I rode until it came to a slow stop, my eyes continued to spin. I knew I needed to step down and find my balance so I could start again. I would continue this until a rut was worn into the ground from all of my running.

 

Isn’t this how we can live our lives?

 

We are running hard after a goal, we jump on to ride just a bit and the next thing we know the world is spinning and it seems impossible to see the path we need to continue on. It is easy to get stuck running around and around and then jumping back on. That’s where I’ve found myself, running, digging myself into a rut and losing focus.

 

Losing focus on my calling.

Losing focus on my dream.

Losing focus on what God says is for now.

 

Look to him | Me, Coffee & Jesus

 

The rut starts innocent until it gets harder to jump out of and up onto the platform. My platform that is for the now is my family, bible study both personal and with friends, and my little blog. We see our now as a rut, God sees our now as practice and obedience. I see running and jumping as tiresome and unnecessary, God sees it as endurance and being faithful to what he has given me.

 

I have been unfaithful and disobedient because I viewed life as a rut instead of the beauty that God has blessed me with. I have been impatient and less than nurturing with my kids. I have been absent from more days of bible study than I care to admit to you (but God knows :/ ) I have been intentionally silent here on the blog and all of my social media.

 

I must break the lie of: “life is a rut” that I’ve allowed myself to believe. I have to trust the growth process. I have to trust that God has made it clear to me more than once (more than twice) in the last 4 years that my focus and job is raising children and studying his word. It is so so easy to think I’m ready to jump and miss the step of tying your shoe only to fall flat on your face. I talked last in my vlog post about applying for a ministry position, sure I was going to get it only to be told no. While no is hard and a little part of me is still pouting about it, I know that God kept me from tripping over my shoelaces and has lessons for me to learn before that jump!

He keeps from tripping | Me, Coffee & Jesus

So girls, if your like me and you have big God-sized dreams and it doesn’t feel that you are chasing them fast enough, remember God has a plan and path of growth perfectly designed for you to walk.

 

If you’re over on the swings and life is feeling pretty up and down and you think the merry go round looks pretty sweet, I promise running in circles can look fun, but it is as hard as pumping your legs on those swings! How about we just promise to nod to one another and say a prayer for strength and endurance for where the other one is.

 

This week I challenge you to join me in taking a breath and savoring where you are right now. This spot in life has so much to soak in. And don’t forget to say a prayer for the girl across the playground. Even if it looks like she’s having fun and life is perfect, it’s never without its own rocks that end up in your sandal.

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A Party For One

This week I just have to be fully honest with you all. I had a post all written, (I was even pretty excited about it!) yet I just know that it has to wait and today I just need to give you a dose of truth from my heart. For the past two days I’ve had the bug of discouragement. An attitude of comparison and a great big pity party happening.

 

IT WAS UGLY. MY HEART WAS A WRETCHED UGLY PLACE.

 

Don’t feel sorry for me, I tell you that right now I don’t deserve it. I got mad at God. I was steaming mad. It began with the loss of a life and then turned into more yuck. I guess that is one of the stages of grief now that I think about, but there was really no excuse for it. Ugly I tell ya!

 

The anger turned quickly into this comparison of other peoples lives. Remember I struggle with people pleasing, well this week I was introduced to her cousin.

 

I’ve been feeling a bit proud of myself lately, thinking this need to people please was improving. That I was worrying less about others and focusing more on what the Lord had for me. Until comparison showed up at my door Friday morning as soon as I woke up from a nightmare. It began with a quiet whisper of, a friend doesn’t really like you. You really aren’t needed. Those other friendships she has are so much better.

 

Instead of recognizing the lie and telling satan to get out of my house, I allowed him to wreak havoc over my mind and heart for the next two days.

 

I allowed him to tell me that my season of study was unimportant.

 

I allowed him to tell me that God had nothing of purpose for me.

 

I allowed him to tell me I was a mediocre mom.

 

I allowed him to tell me I had only failures in my life, that I had accomplished nothing successful.

 

I allowed him to diminish my entire life.

 

Yes it truly was that bad you only need to ask my husband.

 

I tell you these things not for you to feel sorry for me but because I have to.  Trust me as I woke up from my Sunday nap, got dinner in the oven and felt the Lord saying there is a new post to write. I said, but I don’t want to! But I recalled a quote I had seen on the Propel Woman Facebook page earlier in the afternoon.

 

“Are you willing and able to use your pain as a microphone and bless someone else while going through your own storm?” Levi Lusko

 

"Are you willing and able to use your pain as a microphone and bless someone else while going through your own storm?" Levi Lusko

 

So I had to tell you of my pain, my redemption so that someone might be blessed.

 

In the midst of my gigantic pity party I invited my husband into the hot mess of it. I really just wanted a little pat on the back and a awww it’ll be ok. Ladies my hubby is a quiet guy and yesterday I heard more words of truth (painful truth) spoken over me all at once than maybe ever before in our 18 years of knowing each other.

 

I don’t even remember the words really, just that they busted through the lies satan had smeared all over me. I couldn’t fully absorb them and erase my anger and guilt until this morning.  When in church during a song that repeated the name of Jesus several times, with my hands raised and tears streaming down my face. I asked for His forgiveness. Forgiveness for impatience. Forgiveness for comparing and wanting another’s path. Forgiveness for my wretched sinful heart.

 

With the grace and forgiveness that only Jesus comes with, he embraced my heart. He wiped my tears and filled me with peace. Peace that I do have a purpose. Peace that it’s ok to be in a season of study and that it isn’t a trite place to be. Peace about Winter.

 

If you are in a place of believing even a little lie that satan is whispering in your ear I encourage you just to say the name of Jesus. The wretchedness that our heart can have at times won’t want to, but I encourage you to do it. His name alone can bring peace over the yuckiest of hearts. His life alone can bring forgiveness over our darkest of sin.

 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1st John 1:9

 

Friends I long to be authentic, hopefully not too much, but this is me. I am failed. I am unsure. I am forgiven. I am redeemed. I have purpose. All of my days I will strive to be a truth teller for the sake of encouraging others and showing off how big our God is.

I am failedI am failed. I am unsure. I am forgiven. I am redeemed. I have purpose. All of my days I will strive to be a truth teller for the sake of encouraging others and showing off how big our God is.

I know I haven’t shared anything new here, but I imagine that someone else might be in the middle of a pity party. A party for one that no one else even knows is happening. Because we can be really good about polishing up those masks and getting them just right. Well sweet friend I see you. You are not alone.

You are loved.

You are not mediocre.

You are forgiven.

You are redeemed.

 

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This week I’m featuring Karen of Growing Together in Grace and Knowledge. Her post of obedience in the hard stuff is an encouragement for all of us!

 

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Why I Chose to be Pro-Choice

Yep girls, the pure truth is, I am pro-choice. Yes, you did read that right. I believe with all my being you have an absolute choice of what to do with YOUR life. Your choice is to risk the protection of your heart by having sex outside of marriage. Your choice is to make smart choices to prevent pregnancy.  The reality is you need to chose wisely before another human beings life is impacted by YOUR poor judgement.

 

We have bought into the lie that the choice plays into our decisions after we’ve had our fun. That is the lie girls. We have listened to the lie that no man (politician fits here as well) can make our choice for us, about our health.

 

GIRLS, WAKE UP! We have already turned over the choice of our health when we trade our precious hearts for the idea of love, we give our innocence over for the possibility of our hearts being treated and loved with a commitment before a commitment is made.We have uncertainty in our hearts about being loved and we fall for the age old lie of, if I give the most precious thing I have he won’t ever leave, disappoint me or stop loving me, all I have to do is hand that over. When that lie crumbles at our feet and we are left with the consequences it certainly seems easy to call those consequences, women’s health. Why don’t we recognize the best women’s health prescription is to love yourself, respect yourself, and guard your heart from the world’s views of relationships.

 

The best women's health prescription is to love yourself, respect yourself and guard your heart from the world's view of relationships.

This is not by any intention to make men sound as if they want to take advantage of a situation, this is all about the human condition, we are created with a longing that can only be filled with the need of God. When we begin to look to another human being to fill that, we are moving our hearts into a situation of disappointment. We must look to the one who can fill us to overflowing.

 

We have to stop treating sex like it’s about what we want or what we might get out of it, we need to remind ourselves what sex really is. It is a commitment of real love, an agreement of “for better or worst.”

 

We must stop shouting our selfish lies of women’s health, “it’s my body, non-committed relationships is just how life works now”. We need to wake up and trade that in for reality. Yes, it is your body and you do have a choice of what you do with it, who you give it to. Stop exchanging your bad behavior in on someone else’s life.

 Stop exchanging your bad behavior in on someone else's life.

I write all of this with grace and love poured over it. I come to you as a women who did have sex before marriage. I can’t imagine the difference of my life if I would’ve had a baby before marriage. I come to you as a daughter born out of a broken engagement, who very easily could have been lost to the easy choice of women’s health. I have known all my life that my biological father wanted nothing to do with my life, but recently learned that my maternal grandfather wanted to have me aborted. There are few times my mom stood up to the strong force that was my Pap, but on this she did and I was born. I had a grandpa who spent the rest of his time on earth trying to make up for harboring that near action, I believe.

 

When this reality was revealed to me, my mind was spinning. It was during a conversation about my name I had recently with my mom. Lets just say, my outlook of the impact that our easy choices of remedy changed(not that I believed in abortion before) but now, it somehow seemed so much more personal.

 

The solution of abortion that is being accepted as the easiest, impacts not just one life, but life after life. My husband would not have me as a wife, my Brandon and Rachel would not be here on earth. My impact for the kingdom would not be felt. That is the reality.

 

Why I Chose to be Pro-Choice | Me, Coffee & Jesus

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This week features 3 great blog posts. The first is from Debbie titled The Journey Through Change it is about her journey through change and her 5 top ways to make it just a bit easier.

Karen shared in her post Setting Sun about how our wondrous God answers bold prayers and how they are His answers, not ours.

Jennifer shared her A Letter To My Boys On The First Day of School and if you have children that just headed back to school you need this post!

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